Brits top ten in Anaheim supercross Lites
Brits Tommy Searle and Max Anstie finished in the top ten in their AMA Supercross Lites debuts at Anaheim.
Right from the start of the 250cc four-stroke race it was a pair of Pro Circuit Kawasakis at the front of the field, Jake Weimer leading Josh Hanson with the Yamaha-mounted Gautier Paulin in a close third.
Frenchman Paulin, in the States as a warm-up to his World Championship motocross campaign, had immediate company in the form of Ryan Morais and Trey Canard while the Kawasakis began to edge away up front, and Morais was not shy about making his presence felt, bumping the former BMX world champion at every opportunity.
At the end of lap one, Hanson made a small mistake, dropping his bike in a turn and losing a handful of spots before picking it up and rejoining sixth.
With Weimer thus handed a small gap on a plate, Morais made his way past Paulin for second as Canard began to apply the pressure for third - former East Coast champion Canard pulled out an outrageous pass, clearing a big triple jump just before a hairpin bend, running inside Paulin with some pace and forcing the Frenchman up and over the top of the berm.
Paulin remounted twelfth but seemed to have lost a little heart after his rough treatment, dropping slowly down through the field - with no vested interest in this championship, and a World Championship to contest, there was no point for him to bust a gut charging back through the field.
With Weimer comfortable up front, Canard began to close down Morais in the battle for second, and Hanson mounted a recovery charge, closing up on Blake Wharton in fourth but with Wil Hahn right on his back tyre - Hanson fell again on lap six, rejoining eighth as the American meat in an English sandwich, with Tommy Searle ahead of him in seventh and Max Anstie behind him in ninth.
Canard would use the same tactics on Morais as he did on Paulin, utilising his massive triple-jump leap into the bowl turn to carry much more speed into the corner - again contact was made, but Morais made it through the corner albeit a place down. As the clock ticked down, the places were set, as no-one seemed to have any pace to make any more progress, so Jake Weimer ran out the winner at Anaheim 1 for the second year in succession ahead of Canard and Morais.
Great news for the British contingent as Searle and Anstie hung on to their top ten finishes, but Anstie’s was maybe the more impressive ride - both making their supercross debuts, former world number two Searle ran around sixth and seventh all race long, whilst sixteen-year-old Anstie, son of Grand Prix racer Mervyn, came from sixteenth at the end of lap one through to ninth.
Western Regional AMA Supercross Lites Class Results: Anaheim 1
1. Jake Weimer Kawasaki
2. Trey Canard Honda
3. Ryan Morais Suzuki
4. Blake Wharton Honda
5. Wil Hahn Honda
6. Broc Tickle Yamaha
7. Tommy Searle KTM
8. Josh Hansen Kawasaki
9. Max Anstie Yamaha
10. Jeff Alessi Yamaha